Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

This soup is luxurious. Cheesy and creamy and so incredibly hearty and delicious. If the thought of bacon and cheese has you crying for a healthier soup, well, let your woes be gone! The ten cups (ten cups!) of vegetables in this soup should put your mind at ease. Not that vegetables literally cut calories, but we can all agree they are good for your body and soul. And if I’m eating a soup with ten cups of vegetables hidden in the depths, you better believe I’m going to throw in some cheese and bacon, too. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Like classic broccoli cheese soup on steroids, here’s what you’ll get with this loaded broccoli cheese bacon soup: fabulous cheesy flavor with tender bits of broccoli as well as salty pieces of bacon and gobs of tender carrots, celery and potatoes bathed in a silky, creamy soup.

We have officially declared this our new favorite soup of the fall season. I think it was the first meal in a while that I didn’t even need to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher because the bowls were scraped perfectly clean. And that was after most of us had seconds. I employed the boys help with all the chopping of the vegetables and spent the entire meal hearing them declare: “Hey, I just ate one of the carrots I chopped!” to which another child would quickly respond “Nuh-uh, I chopped that one.” Sigh. At least they ate well. I would have declared this the Ultimate Perfect Miracle-of-all-Miracles Soup if there had been no quibbling at dinner. Still on the hunt for that one…

Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

What To ServeArtisan or Italian Bread Bowls
Simple green Salad (or for an extra special salad this Spinach Salad with Spicy Nuts)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Spaghetti Pie {My Family’s Favorite Dinner}
Two Years Ago: English Muffin Bread
Three Years Ago: My Favorite Sugar Cookies

Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

Yield: Serves 8

Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

You could easily use turkey bacon here especially since the bacon grease is drained before proceeding with the recipe. Alternately, if you like to live life on the edge, you can use the bacon grease for the base of the white sauce and omit the butter (just make sure you have at least 3 tablespoons, otherwise, supplement with butter). This soup is definitely on the thicker side of things; if you want a thinner soup, consider decreasing the broccoli by half (only using 2 cups or so) or adding additional broth at the beginning or the end.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots, diced small
  • 1 cup chopped celery, diced small
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped potatoes, diced small
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4-5 cups broccoli crowns, diced small (about 2 heads of broccoli)
  • 4-6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 16 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth, carrots, celery, potatoes and onion. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to get tender.
  2. Add the chopped broccoli. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. The pan is going to be very full of vegetables and it might seem like it isn't "soupy" enough since the vegetables overpower the broth but I promise it will all work out when you add the cheese mixture.
  3. In a separate medium saucepan, saute the bacon until golden and crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the grease and wipe out the saucepan.
  4. Melt the butter (in the same saucepan you cooked the bacon in) over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is slightly thickened, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cheddar cheese one handful at a time, adding another handful after the cheese that has been added has melted. Stir in the salt, pepper and dry mustard.
  6. Slowly stir the cheese sauce into the hot broth and vegetables, whisking to combine well. Stir in the reserved bacon and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. If you want the soup a bit thinner, stir in a little extra broth or milk a bit at a time until you get the consistency you are looking for.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/broccoli-cheese-bacon-soup/

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe my sister-in-law, Melissa, sent me by way of her friend Meredith (thanks, Meliss!) – I  made a ton of changes: decreased butter from 8 tablespoons to 3, increased liquid and used broth instead of water, used real cheese instead of velveeta and changed up the quantities of vegetables to name a few.

84 Responses to Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

  1. Valerie says:

    Melanie, this looks like the perfect soup that I have been looking for. I do have a question about the cheese ……. I think a small 8 oz block of cheese yields about 2 cups shredded. Would you say you used one or two of those? The recipe states 4 cups (or 8 oz). Not that I think there is such a thing as too much cheese :), but I would not want to make the soup too goopy by using the wrong amount. Thanks for all you do.

  2. Emily F says:

    Wow, that sounds good. Although mine would only have 9 cups of vegetables since I would definitely leave out the celery…or maybe just increase the carrots. Do you think I could use a few tablespoons of the bacon grease instead of butter to make the white sauce? You know, save me a step and a little bit of butter?

    This seems like it would go perfectly with your pretzel rolls.

  3. The Mels must have broccoli soup on the brain today.

    I have ham broccoli cheese chowder over on my blog today. My kids are in love with it. They and daddy actually argued over who got the leftovers. I’m just glad they enjoyed it.

    Bacon sounds like it would be great in broccoli soup too. I’ll have to give this one a try!

  4. PAULA says:

    I have never used dried mustard before. Is it located by all of the dried spices? Thanks. This looks relish.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Paula, yes the dried mustard is usually by all the other spices.

      Emily F. – check out the note above the recipe (I talked a bit about using the bacon grease instead of the butter).

      Valerie – you are right! Thanks for catching that typo. I fixed the recipe to say 4 cups of cheese (about 16 ounces).

  5. I love a good soup – it is so comforting. This look SO good!

  6. Jess in ND says:

    Wonderful! I love hearty soups.

  7. Alisia says:

    This soup looks amazing! I had to pin it on my Pinterest for future use! I might even add it to my blog sometime this week and I will make sure to give reference to your blog. Thanks for posting!

  8. Melynda says:

    Seriously I cannot wait to make this….

  9. KIm says:

    How much or how many servings does this make? I see 9-10 cups of vegetables….

  10. Brittany says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it! My family is not a big fan of broccoli cheese soup (sigh!) but I am hoping that they will like this recipe it has a little extra to it!

  11. I agree to the idea that bacon and cheese MUST go with a pile of vegetables! It’s the easiest way to get everyone to eat them. Gorgeous soup Mel!

  12. Stacey says:

    I love broccoli cheese soup, so I can’t wait to try this variation! I love that it has extra veggies. It really looks divine.

  13. Nikeva says:

    This looks wonderful! I can’t wait to taste it.

  14. tahnycooks says:

    I could easily declare this as a favorite soup too! YUM!

  15. Bridget says:

    The story of your boys at the dinner table made me smile. My husband and I are trying to introduce the concept of dinner conversation to our two and four year old. It isn’t going well and it sounds like we have a long road ahead of us. At least I can at least look forward to them someday being old enough to chop veggies. This recipe is on my to try list.

  16. Sheree says:

    OK, when the temperatures here in AZ get below the 90’s (I’m getting tired of it), I can’t wait to make this soup! Thanks for all your great recipes, Mel. I used to dread trying to think of what to make for dinner, but you’ve made my life easier (and more full of yumminess)!

  17. Suzy says:

    Hi Mel,

    What knives do you have your kids use to help you cut veggies? My kids want to help me with all things food related, but I’ve been too scared to let them help me with the cutting. I would love a recommendation for whats worked for you! Thanks a bunch!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Suzy – that’s a good question. For the longest time, I was nervous about letting my older kids use the sharp knives that I use…until my 9-year old got a really bad cut from using a butter knife to cut fresh carrots. Now, both my 8 and 9-year old use a small sharp paring knife. I am always right there when they cut and have taught them with every cut to make sure all their fingers are out of the way. My 6- and 4-year old get tasked with cutting up soft things like boiled potatoes, olives, cheese, etc. They can use a butter knife for that just fine.

  18. Hello, you big, beautiful bowl of comfort food! This is perfect for chilly nights! Absolutely love it, Mel.

  19. Jackie says:

    Perfect! I know what’s for dinner at our house tonight!

  20. Karen says:

    This tastes like it came straight from a restaurant! Another winner! Thank you!

  21. I love everything about this, and the fact that I almost always have all these ingredients handy! Pinned :)

  22. Kristen says:

    I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and made it tonight. So good! My husband and kids all liked it. Thank you Mel for all your time you put into your site. I make a couple of your recipes each week and they never fail me.

  23. Kim says:

    Made this last night! I LOVED it. I pretty much said “I love this” every bite. Maybe I’ll make it again today. Thanks for this one.

  24. heather says:

    hi suzy, just wanted to chime in on the use of knives with kids. I started my 4-year-old with helping to butter the bread for grilled cheese, them moving to cutting/splitting his rolls at the dinner table, using his small butter knife. Just small steps till his little hands get used to using the knife. Love the boiled potato suggestion by Mel. Next time i make hash browns, he’s going to help!!

    PS to MEL. Thanks for the apron!!! It is good quality and I love the pockets in the front.

  25. Michelle says:

    This looks amazing & delicious!! My only hesitation though is that much cheese. Do you think it would still turn out if I cut the cheese amount in half? Would I just have to play around with it and see if it works? Thanks!

  26. Karen says:

    Mel, do you this would freeze okay? I’d love to have some frozen for unexpected visitors. It’s a “wow your company” kind of recipe.

  27. Samantha says:

    I made this for dinner tonight! I wanted to make it a little more figure-friendly and I only used 2 cups of shredded cheese and it worked out great, still tastes cheesy and thick :)

  28. Kathryn says:

    I made this for dinner tonight too! I used about 3 cups of cheese because that’s all I had and it seems perfectly cheesy. The only thing I think I’d do differently next time is possibly use a mixture of mild and sharp cheddar. The taste with all sharp cheddar is a bit sharp for my taste. Otherwise, yummy!!!

  29. Suzanna says:

    Does it matter what kind of milk I use (is skim ok?)?

  30. Valerie says:

    This was a fantastic soup to enjoy on a chilly evening with some homemade bread. I followed the recipe exactly as written and found the consistency perfect. No need for additional broth.

  31. Stacy says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight and my family loved it!! Perfect soup for a cold night here in Ohio! I served it with some hearty bread and my kids gobbled it up. This recipe is definitely going into our fall/ winter rotation. Thanks Mel for the wonderful recipes!! I love your site:)

  32. Susan says:

    I found this on Pinterest yesterday and made it tonight for dinner. My whole family (including 4,6 and 7 year old children) loved it! Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow at lunch. Thanks, Mel!

  33. Melissa says:

    As “Submitter” of this recipe… :)

    I’m so glad that this was a hit at your house! WE LOVE IT!

    And yes, it freezes well. (I saw that someone asked that). I always make the full batch for our tiny family and freeze at least half for a quick dinner a couple weeks later. I even forgot about a container that we had until we moved and it was fine 2-3 months later (not sure if anyone else is that brave).

    Love you!

  34. Soonhee says:

    Made this tonight with the pretzel rolls and felt like a total rock star in the kitchen! Thank you for sharing such delicious recipes! I added an extra cup of broth at the beginning, and it was still nice and creamy but not as thick looking as in the pictures. Perfect for chilly weather!

  35. Valerie says:

    I wanted to add that this soup reheats wonderfully. Just as smooth and creamy as when freshly served, which I have not always found to be the case with soups containing real cheese.

  36. Tracy says:

    YUM! I just made this and it is relishes . Serving w fresh bread. My family tried to steal the bacon before it was used. Everyone Loved it! Thanks

  37. I have all the ingredients and was trying to think of what to do with my broccoli. Mel saves the day again!

  38. Holly says:

    Made it for supper this evening — another hit! Thanks Mel!

  39. Kim in MD says:

    Mel- this looks like perfection in a bowl! It’s cold here n MD, and I am SO craving soup. This is on the menu for this week!

  40. Nicole says:

    This soup is so delicious!!!

  41. Hi Mel! Could this be done in the crockpot? It looks AMAZING, but I’m needing some recipes that I can start in the morning as I don’t have much time in the afternoons with piano lessons. Any hints or suggestions?
    Your site is my go-to for recipes! Thanks for all the deliciousness!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rachel – I haven’t tried this in the crockpot so you’d have to experiment. You could definitely cook the components on the stove, assemble and keep warm in the crockpot (maybe cook the veggies a tad bit less if you are going to keep it in the crockpot cooking for a while).

  42. Amanda says:

    Made this today – so yummy! I made it exactly as written but left out the dry mustard. Simple and fairly quick to make. Two out of three of my boys gobbled it up. Thanks Mel for yet another awesome recipe!

  43. Michelle says:

    Okay, I’m back to report. :) The only change I made was to use 2 cups of sharp cheddar (instead of 4). As for taste- I loved it!! It was deliciously thick and flavorful! I’m excited to have the leftovers tomorrow. The only part that wasn’t quite so good- maybe it’s because I’m a slow/meticulous chopper, but it took me a really long time to make this! The 10 cups of veggies are great, but do take time! Next time (because there will be a next time!) I’ll keep that in mind and try to prep some of the ingredients beforehand. Just my two cents! :)

  44. Louanne says:

    This looks great. Thanks.

  45. Jodie says:

    We loved this soup! And for us at least, it was even better re-heated for lunch the next day!

  46. As a blogger myself, I have to say, I know how much work it takes to create quality blog posts day after day, but I’ve gotta tell you—you’ve got it down! I tried this soup out tonight and fell in love with it, and I am smitten with your blog. So, from the bottom of this cook’s heart, a big warm THANK YOU to you for doing exactly what you’re doing—you’ve got a reader for life!

    http://autodidacticambitions.blogspot.com

  47. Nashanna says:

    Made this and loved it. Even my husband who is not a soup fan ate it 2 nights in a row. I used skim milk because that is all I had and I just used about 1/4 less than the recipe called for. I also only used 3 cups of cheese because again that was all I had! It turned out great, super creamy and chunky. Thanks Mel!!

  48. Patrice says:

    Can this be made in a crockpot?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Patrice – if you take a quick glance at the comments above, I think I addressed this with another reader. Good luck if you try it!

  49. Ellen says:

    Hi Mel!

    I made this tonight and my family loved it! The flavor is delicious. I do have a question on the consistency. Mine wasn’t very smooth, it was kind of separated, if that makes sense. Do you know what I did to make it that way? Maybe stirred in something too quickly?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ellen – sometimes soups made like this (with a flour based creamy mixture) can separate if they boil for too long. I try to keep this on a low simmer so it doesn’t curdle or separate.

  50. Logan says:

    Made this tonight and it was super easy and super yummy! My husband was not excited about soup for dinner but was pleasantly surprised:)

  51. Heidy A says:

    YUM! This was my first fall soup this year. Great recipe. Loved every bite. Going into my rotation of soups! Thanks again.

  52. Marcie says:

    Such a delicious soup! Thank you! I made everything exact, but left out the celery :) I also made the soft pretzel rolls to go with this. Just perfect! Even my picky kids loved this soup.

  53. Amanda Z says:

    This soup was so good, hubby and I loved it, creamy and delicious! We are in perfect soup weather, and this fit a craving I have been having for a cheesy soup. Thanks for a great recipe!

  54. Jamie says:

    This was great! I have another vegetable cheese soup that I’ve made for years but it uses a ton of butter and cheese whiz. The bacon really gives this great flavor and this uses a lot less butter. We loved it!

  55. Heidi says:

    I just made this soup for dinner and it was really great! It worked out well even with just half the cheese! I used the bacon grease and wished that I had eliminated the salt, because it ended up just a tad too salty. Great recipe! :)

  56. Allison says:

    Mel you are a rockstar! Even without the bacon (I thought I had some but midsoup I realized that I didn’t :( have any) it was delicious. I used half broccoli and half cauliflower because that is what I had and it was a hit. My boys too ate it without any complaints and licked their bowls clean (okay, scraped with their spoons since I try to keep the licking to a minimum!) Thanks for yet another tasty recipe. I already have friends in mind with whom I’ll be sharing the link.

  57. Marissa says:

    This looks delicious! I am excited to try it out. Would you do anything different if using frozen broccoli instead of fresh? Thanks in advance, Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Marissa – just make sure the frozen broccoli is in small pieces (chopped) and I would probably thaw first so that the soup doesn’t get too watery from the excess water in the frozen broccoli.

  58. Carissa says:

    Ive made this twice now and cant seem to get the butter, flour milk mixture smooth….what am i doing wrong…its very lumpy….but still super delicious!!

    • Mel says:

      Carissa – are you whisking in the liquid gradually? I whisk in a little at a time until it is absorbed and thick before adding the next (probably 1/2 cup or so at a time).

  59. Carissa says:

    I melt the butter and than add all of the flour..than i have a clumpy mixture….and than i add the milk a little at a time whisking it…but i can never seem to get rid of the lumps….do i just need to be more patient with the whisking?

    • Mel says:

      Carissa – try cooking the flour/butter mixture for longer, until it’s golden. Also, add the flour slowly – like sprinkle it on as you mix it in. Then just patiently whisk in that liquid and hopefully that will help. Good luck!

  60. Nicole says:

    Do you know what the serving size is? I know you say it serves 8…but do you know the weight or cup size per serving? or the amount of cups the full recipe yields? I want to know so I can calculate the nutritional info.

    • Mel says:

      Nicole – I’m afraid I don’t. I didn’t measure the total quantity but I would guess it’s probably about a cup or so per portion size.

  61. Naomi says:

    I discovered this recipe through Pinterest awhile ago and have made it several times since then. It’s so, so good! The first time I made the soup I cut the recipe in half since I was only cooking for my husband and I but it was so yummy that I was extremely disappointed that I had no leftovers…lol. From now on I will always make more than enough for one meal! The only thing I did differently was that I use Kraft Tex Mex shredded cheese.

  62. Mel says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. The best broccoli soup I have ever had! Thank you!!!

  63. Amy says:

    So yummy! I used left over spiral cut ham instead of bacon. I also used a combination of sharp white cheddar and mild cheddar.

  64. Kathleen says:

    This is the best, easiest stew. I am loving it. Used homemade chicken broth and previously roasted potatoes. Thanks for this recipe.

  65. Rachael says:

    So. Delicious.
    My potatoes turned out a little too soft for my liking so I’ll just switch that up next time or cut them a little bigger. I used half broccoli, half cauliflower and while both were so good I actually preferred the cauliflower, so next time I’ll just do all cauliflower. :) I’ll also add a little more bacon but that is preference only.

    Love your recipes!

  66. Noel says:

    Wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing!

  67. Carrie H. says:

    Wow! This was great. I made it last week and my hubby took the rest today for his lunch. I will definitely be making it again. I followed the directions completely and I think next time I will cut back 1 c. of cheese. The family loved it but we ended up adding more milk when reheating because it was just too thick.
    Thanks for the great recipe.

  68. SMc says:

    Made this last night, and it was really good. I didn’t have all the ingredients. No bacon but had 2 Tblsp bacon grease and added butter to it to make the roux. Didn’t have celery, but I had 2 Tblsp celery leaves that I had dried. Grated the carrots but I think I’ll chop them next time. Used canned chicken broth. Added more potatoes. Used the cheese I had on hand. Used frozen broccoli and it was fine. Added a little half & half to the sauce since I had it on hand. Don’t boil the sauce and wait until the soup cools down a bit before adding the sauce so it won’t curdle. If the soup is too thin, add potato flakes or a little flour & water mixture. This is the kind of soup you can make all kinds of variations to, and it will be yummy. Thank you, Mel, for a great recipe! I’ll be making this again and again.

  69. Jen says:

    Could you make this soup in a crock pot? If you believe so, how would I recreate the same thick consistency of the soup? Not everyone eats at the same time in our house so I’d like to use the slow cooker, that way everyone can dish up when they get home.Thanks for the recipe & any ssuggestions!

  70. Bonnie L. says:

    I made this recipe for a potluck and work and it was an absolute hit!! I’m not a big fan of creamy sauces or soups, but I loved this soup so much that I have made it 3 times since. I’ve experimented with it and it just keeps getting better.

    I’ve done it with 3 cups milk, 1½ cups each of milk and heavy cream and I’ve done it with 3 cups heavy cream. I like the ½ milk- ½ cream version best. Next time I’m going to try with a different cheese and see what happens. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out. Think I’ll go with the Hickory Farms smoked cheddar!!

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